Choosing The Right Style For Your Master Bathroom – And How The Right Bathroom Vanity Can Help

A lot of elements contribute to the style of your bathroom – the flooring, the tile, the lighting, the paint, and even the tub, shower, and toilet. But no matter what other materials you choose, your bathroom vanity will be the biggest contributing factor in the overall impression of your space. A highly ornate antique vanity will make the exact same room look very different than if you put a sleek, modern vanity in it. So when you’re picking out a new bathroom vanity, you want to be aware of the bigger-than-average impact it will have, and consider carefully what style you want it to impart on your space.

Antique-Inspired Vanities For An Opulent Bathroom

St. James 60: Single Bathroom Vanity in Empire Linen 207-SJ-V60S-EL from James Martin Furniture
St. James 60: Single Bathroom Vanity in Empire Linen 207-SJ-V60S-EL from James Martin Furniture

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Really ornate master bathrooms are something of a dying breed. While they were once the gold standard for a luxurious bathroom, designers have been gradually moving away from a lot of heavy ornamentation. That said, if you want to create a grand, classic feel for your master bathroom, an antique-inspired vanity with lavish, highly detailed woodwork is really the best way to do it. Even if you don’t have a lot of stone tile, gold hardware, or fine fabric and upholstery, a vanity with an antique design can help elevate your space and give it that decadent feel.

Traditional Bathroom Vanities For A Familiar, Sophisticated Feel

Providence 72" Double Bathroom Vanity Cabinet 238-105-V72-CWH from James Martin Furniture
Providence 72″ Double Bathroom Vanity Cabinet 238-105-V72-CWH from James Martin Furniture

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More common are traditional bathroom vanities – a distinction that can get a little hand-wavey depending on who you ask. What I’m talking about are vanities that have a similar grand appearance, but a little less of the fine detail work. The more detail you lose, the more modern the vanity will feel, but a good traditional vanity sits somewhere a little more sophisticated than a Shaker style vanity. If you want a look that feels classic and luxurious but not too over the top and won’t require you to clean a lot of fine woodwork, this is the category you want to be looking in.

Transitional Bathroom Vanities For A Classy But Comfortable Space

Palisades 72" Double Bathroom Vanity 527-V72-BW from James Martin Furniture
Palisades 72″ Double Bathroom Vanity 527-V72-BW from James Martin Furniture

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The move away from really ornate antique and traditional designs has ended up creating a large middle category that’s neither traditional nor modern, but somewhere in between – aka, transitional. Shaker-inspired styles epitomize this category: they have their root in historical designs, but are simple, streamlined, and slightly more modern in feel, often with simpler hardware and very basic detailing. There’s enough “tradition” to keep a subtly formal feel, but it’s toned down enough so that it doesn’t feel out of place in a casual contemporary bathroom.

Sleek Modern Vanities For A Clean, Contemporary Bathroom

Sonoma 60" Double Bathroom Vanity in Vanilla Oak 860-V60D-VNO from James Martin Furniture
Sonoma 60″ Double Bathroom Vanity in Vanilla Oak 860-V60D-VNO from James Martin Furniture

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Modern bathroom vanities are sleek, simple, streamlined, and usually pretty square. While this isn’t always the case, for the most part if you opt for a more modern or contemporary aesthetic, you’re looking at vanities with simple slab cabinet doors, very minimal hardware, and almost no ornamentation other than the material or finish of the vanity itself and maybe a decorative vessel sink. But this simplicity is by design, intended both to emphasize storage and functionality and create a crisp, clean, uncluttered feel that’s an iconic part of a modern aesthetic.

Eye-Catching Vanities Designed To Make A Statement

Portland 72" Double Bathroom Vanity 620-V72-CWH from James Martin Furniture
Portland 72″ Double Bathroom Vanity 620-V72-CWH from James Martin Furniture

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Very distinctive or iconic bathroom vanities can even be used to establish a specific niche look or theme. Shuttered bathroom vanities, for example, are great for establishing a Cape Cod inspired seaside or nautical themed bathroom while vanities with Asian-inspired designs are perfect for creating luxurious eastern-style spaces. Most bathroom vanities are made to blend in rather than stand out, but it’s absolutely possible to find stylish, showy vanities that will bring a little extra personality to your space.

Using Vanity Styles To Dress Up (Or Dress Down) Your Bathroom

De Soto 72" Double Bathroom Vanity 825-V72-BW in Bright White from James Martin Furniture
De Soto 72″ Double Bathroom Vanity 825-V72-BW in Bright White from James Martin Furniture

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That said, while the style of your vanity can go a long way to help dictate the style of your bathroom, that doesn’t mean the two necessarily have to match. Especially in the broad category of transitional design, there’s a lot of room to get creative with what, exactly, that in-between style means for you. A very ornate vanity in an otherwise modern space can be stylish and striking, while a very simple modern vanity can give a more traditional bathroom a relaxed, spa-like feel.

There are no hard-and-fast rules in bathroom design, especially when it comes to choosing a bathroom vanity, but being conscious of the impact they’ll have on your space can make them a powerful tool in getting exactly the look you want.